We asked Gabriel Powell to create a video that addresses the workflow of starting a form in InDesign and completing it in Acrobat. He did an excellent job.
As the Creating PDF forms topic suggests, the gist of the workflow is that you design a form in InDesign that includes placeholders for fields such as radio buttons, check boxes, and text fields. Then you export to PDF and use Acrobat to convert the placeholders into form fields.
This isn’t a perfect workflow. Ideally, you should be able to add form fields in InDesign so that exporting to PDF results in a finished form. Instead, you end up with two master documents, which means that if you need to make any changes in InDesign, you’d have to redo all the form field recognition work in Acrobat.* Still, if you make the right decisions and create a clean InDesign document, it’s a good way to make data forms.
As we were putting together the plan for this video, I came across a detailed document from the Acrobat team that provides valuable technical details on field recognition and best practices for designing a form. View Notes on Form Field Recognition (PDF).
UPDATE: See also Michael Murphy’s videocast on designing PDF forms in InDesign:
UPDATE: The Acrobat team wrote an article about Designing forms for auto field detection in Adobe Acrobat.
* Kriss has an interesting workaround tip in comments. Basically, you can use the Replace Pages feature in Acrobat to swap in an edited InDesign page without losing the buttons. Bob Levine describes the process in detail in this InDesign Secrets post.